I’m not posting a photo to go along with this post. It won’t be a long soliloquy about disasters in the kitchen, but rather a reminder to think before you bake!
Early this morning I took a stick of butter out of the fridge to come to room temperature. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make, but I had a few ideas. I haven’t been baking much (we’ve been trying to be good-ha!) but I just felt that today I should get something in the oven.
What I really wanted to make was another hazelnut cake. Since returning from Italy in May I’ve been on a quest to duplicate the most delectable cake that we ate in Acqui Terme. I’ve already tried a few recipes and they were good, but not exactly what I had hoped for. I recently purchased a book on the food of Piemonte and lo and behold, there was a another recipe for a hazelnut torta.
The more I thought about it, the more I felt that we should have guests over for dinner when I bake this cake. Maybe another night, but not tonight. Then it hit me. I should make those cookies. I have a signature cookie. It’s the one recipe that I don’t hand out to friends. I have dreams of one day wrapping them up in cute packaging with a Panini Girl label and selling them. At any rate, they’re a great cookie and I haven’t made them in a while and so today was the day.
So, I didn’t come to this realization until late in the day. There was the butter that had been sitting on the counter since morning. I whipped up a batch, thinking that the butter was really soft, but went ahead anyway. The cookie dough gets popped into the freezer briefly anyway, so I figured that the soft butter was no big deal, but it was! The cookies didn’t hold their shape and flattened out on the cookie sheet. They were still tasty, but didn’t look like they have the countless times I’ve made them.
There is a point when the butter is too soft. I once read an article about the correct softness for butter when baking, but today I went against my instinct and baked with the super soft butter. Don’t quote me, but I think the butter is at the correct temperature for baking when you can make an indentation with your fingertip, but no softer than that. Oh well, I won’t be handing these cookies out to anyone. We’ll just have to suffer through them ourselves!